Aldo Agostinelli

For the first time ever, Made in Italy has ranked first in the chart of importers against several fierce competitors including France and Japan. In only two years Italy moved from the fourth to the first position and has recorded an amazing +96%. Here are all data and reasons of such a huge success.

Somebody claimed 2021 to be Italy best year ever: music, sport and now also fashion which has added up to the collection of our country amazing success stories. Having crushed the strongest players in the market, between January and June 2021,  Made in Italy products were the most imported goods in China.  Basically we are the ones who have exported more luxury goods to the country of the Chinese Dragon!

Translating all this into figures, in the first six months of the year our exchanges with China amounted in about  30 billion Euros (La cooperazione economica alla base della collaborazione tra Italia e Cina/Financial co-operation at the basis of the partnership between Italy and China).

Chinese import chart

According to data provided by ICE to Pambianconews, China has globally increased its imports of fashion products by  46%. Consequently, imports of Italian textile/fashion products increased by 96% (over 5 billion Euros) against the same period of 2020, corresponding to a market share of 12%. Our French cousins (no, stavolta non abbiamo fatto piangere gli inglesi!/ no, this time we didn’t make the Brits cry) came second with  +58% (4,7 billion Euros) and an 11% market share.

The other positions of the top five chart are occupied by Japan (+22% and about 4,2 billion Euros ), Vietnam (+29 and  4 billion Euros ), and South Korea ( +18% and 3 billion Euros ).

Only in 2019, that is to say less than two years ago, the fist fashion supplier for China was Vietnam, followed closely by Japan and Italy, whose exports were worth less than the French one, despite the fact that France had come fourth. The situation was even worse in 2020, an awful year during which Italy moved down to the fourth position, after France, Vietnam and Japan pole position (Sorpresa Italia, batte tutti in Cina: nel 2021 diventa primo partner moda / Italy surprises everybody and reaches the pole position in China: in 2021 ).

In 2021 came the exploit, with our high end products which have moved back straight to number one.

The reasons of Made in Italy success

The reason of such turnaround? As I argued, ahead of time, in “Bling. Il lusso del futuro. Parla Instagram, indossa sneakers e usa l’AI/Bling. The luxury of the future talks Instagram, wears sneakers and uses AI”, luxury goods are taking Asia by storm, and due to the pandemic, over the last 18 months, it has been reinforced by the so called “Revenge spending”, a phenomenon due to which, after a period of restraints caused by several factors, people are now eager to go back shopping spending much more than before.   

Therefore, the internal drive towards luxury goods pushed rich people, who could not travel due to COVID-caused restrictions, towards  high end Made in Italy products although they may be particularly expensive due to import costs; we are talking about precious leather items, jewels, beauty products, apparel and shoes.

Another factors has also benefited us: difficulties encountered by Hong Kong  commercial hub which used to be used to smuggle luxury products illegally into China. However, logistic restrictions slowed down, and almost stopped, such flow, especially with reference to jewels. A positive effect of something which was not positive at all for all of us.

Our businesses now have only to take advantage of this situation, trying to make the most of it.

What do you think about the fact that Italian luxury products are taking China by storm?Tweet @agostinellialdo

READ MY NEW BOOK: “BLING: The luxury of the future speaks Instagram, wears sneakers and uses AI

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